"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cost.

It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to humiliate and degrade it.” In Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

Friday, July 24, 2015

A new prosecutor funded by convictions and "expected" to raise conviction rates and revenues for Delaware County - well done, judicial candidates Porter Kirkwood and Richard Northrup!

The local newspaper for Delaware County, New York, reported on July 23, 2015 that "the Delaware County Board of Suprevisors authorized the funding of a new position in the District Attorney's office" at its meeting on July 22, 2015.

The salary for the new prosecutor is expected to be $32,084 per year.

The benefits for the new prosecutor, including "retirement, health insurance and other 'fringe' benefits" "increase the total to $51,872", according to the Walton Reporter, Lillian Browne.

Thus, $19,788 per year for health insurance (for the prosecutor and the prosecutor's family, no doubt), as well as the prosecutor's health insurance will be paid from - guess what - conviction fines!

Delaware County gleefully advertises this completely unconstitutional arrangement through the lips of its "STOP-DWI Program Coordinator" Scott Glueckert, who is also the county's probation director.

Walton reporter cites Scott Glueckert, the Delaware County public official to say the following: 

  • that the new position will be funded with a portion of the $200,000 reserve in the STOP-DWI fund, a fund being formed by fines obtained from convictions for DWI; and
  • that Scott Glueckert thinks that "the most productive use [of the money] is to give it to an agency that will use it effectively to put more offenders behind bars or on probation and hold them accountable for the crime they've committed".
Now, several conclusions can be drawn from this starkly frank and starkly unconstitutional statement.


Since the statement comes from the Delaware County's director of probation, funding of the prosecution by:

1) probation (post-conviction management authority that has no right to control the prosecution, financially or otherwise);

- is the POLICY and the LAW in Delaware County.

2) "Savings to taxpayers".  

I am one of Delaware County taxpayers and, yes, I am interested in savings.  But not in savings in violation of the law and especially in violation of the U.S. Constitution, "savings" that will subject the Delaware County to civil rights lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 as an unconstitutional financial arrangement.

By the way, not only the Delaware County itself, but its public officials, individuals who are responsible in promoting such a program, starting from 
  • judicial candidate Delaware County Attorney Porter Kirkwood (without whose blessing this "arrangement" could not have emerged);
  • judicial candidate Delaware County District Attorney Richard Northrup (without whose blessing this "arrangement" could not have emerged either - the DA had to have given consent to accept this perverse financial incentive undermining his entire office's integrity, as well as criminal defendants' constitutional rights);
  • probation director/STOP DWI "coordinator" Scott Glueckert who openly admitted that the interesting financial arrangement is MEANT to provide incentives to the new prosecutor - and to the DA's office to convict more.

Scott Gleuckert did not stop at his initial statement indicating that:

1) the new prosecutor (and the DA's office) will be funded out of convictions and
2) that the money is meant to be "effectively used" to increase the number of convictions.

Scott Gleuckert went further and made public statements to the Walton Reporter as to the revenue obtained by the Delaware County from DWI convictions.

In the "down" year, according to Scott Gleuckert, as reported by Lillian Browne, of Walton Reporter, the Delaware County "might net $75,000".

In an "up" year, according to the same source, the revenues from DWI convictions of the Delaware County are "up to $150,000".

Mr. Glueckert further publicly expressed an "expectation" that "the new prosecutor will create additional revenue through successful conviction of cases, which will help pay for the salary and benefit costs".

Now, wait a minute, Mr. Glueckert.

Didn't you just said that the salary of the prosecutor will be paid by the taxpayers and not from conviction fines?

And did not you just said that the monies for the new prosecutor are meant to "simply" increase the conviction rate, make more offenders "accountable for their crimes" and, thus protect the public.

Now you are saying that the new prosecutorial position is actually to bring more revenues to the County?

Nothing like a public official putting his own foot into his own mouth - deep.

Once again, this "legal wonder" of an arrangement could not have seen the light without the help of two attorneys who currently run for two judicial positions in the Delaware County:

Porter Kirkwood, the current Delaware County Attorney, and
Richard Northrup, the current Delaware County District Attorney

Their feet are also in their mouths - equally deep.

It is clear that by pandering such "savings" to Delaware County taxpayers they are trying to appease voters - financially - which means to bribe them into voting them into office, which I will address separately to appropriate authorities.

According to Delaware County District Attorney Richard Northrup, as reported in the same article, in 2014 the DA's office prosecuted 172 DWI cases, in 2015 so far - 93 DWI cases.

Richard Northrup indicates that his office "does not compile conviction rates" - of course, it doesn't, because if it does compile such statistics, it will have to disclose it through Freedom of Information request.  The easiest way to beat a Freedom of Information request asking for potentially damaging statistics is to simply not "compile" such statistics.

Yet, what Mr. Northrup did not take into account is that such statistics can be easily compiled by FOILing for copies of dispositions themselves - one will immediately see how many of 172 DWI cases in 2014 resulted in a conviction, bringing revenue to the county.

Richard Northrup expressed support for the financial arrangement - thus, in my opinion, approving of the policy, participating in the bribery of voters, and exposing himself, his office and the county to liability for civil rights lawsuits.

Richard Northrup also expressed an "expectation" that "the quality of dispositions" will be improved with the program.

I have no doubt that by "the quality of dispositions" Richard Northrup meant the conviction rate, otherwise his new prosecutor will simply have no funds to be funded out of.  

Of course, Richard Northrup concluded his interview to the newspaper with the usual politically correct words that with the new arrangement his agency "will be able to take a more aggressive stand against drunk drivers and through treatment and deterrence make the roads in our county safer for everyone".

Yet, the money paid for the new prosecutorial position - and to the DA's office - out of conviction fines - tells a completely different story, that convictions will be sought not to be "tough on crime", but for much more prosaic purposes - to increase revenues for the county, something a county prosecutor faithful to his oath of office MAY NOT even CONSIDER as his role or goal.

I would like to remind my readers that the Delaware County District Attorney's office aggressively prosecutes a woman, Barbara O'Sullivan, an active critic of police and judicial misconduct, who is the victim of a retaliative vehicular assault by the a Delaware County police officer Derek Bowie, while that police officer's uncle is employed by the Delaware County District Attorney who neither disqualified himself or his office, nor even disclosed to the court the fact of employment of the alleged victim's uncle.

I would like to remind my readers that the Delaware County District Attorney signs "deals" with drug offenders reducing their criminal sentences in exchange for indemnification (release from civil liability) of Richard Northrup personally, and the county, state and even federal public officials, officers and employees.  I have witnessed and reported one of such deals, and was retaliated by sanctions by the "drug court creator" Judge Becker (now swiftly retiring before expiration of his term) who benefited from that unlawful indemnification, but "so-ordered" that unlawful indemnification that was meant for the prosecutor, the police and for himself.

So, this "arrangement" is no surprise from the point of view of integrity of the Delaware County District Attorney's office and this particular District Attorney specifically.

But, surprise or no surprise, Richard Northrup is running for a County Judge, as well as Porter Kirkwood, another mastermind of this completely unconstitutional "arrangement" pandered to voters as "savings" to the county, while it has the potential to blow up into the taxpayer's face with as many expensive federal lawsuits, as many DWI prosecutions this new prosecutor will handle.

Voters and taxpayers of Delaware County - don't get hooked up on the false promises.

Vote for impeachment of Richard Northrup.

Vote for impeachment of Porter Kirkwood.

And do not vote them into yet another public office, now a higher and even more powerful office, the judicial office where they will act like corrupt kings with "immunity".

With such a "record of integrity" before they are on the bench, when/if they come to that bench, you will have a disaster on your heads much worse than the outgoing judge Becker.

And one more interesting statement of Scott Gleuckert is that the STOP-DWI program (funded by fines and fees paid by convicted criminal defendants) pays the "local law enforcement agencies" to conduct road checks and patrols.

So, when a prosecutor is prosecuting a criminal defendant, he or she is supposed to be neutral.

Moreover, when a police officer is investigating a crime, he is supposed to be a neutral investigator.

Not so on both counts, if both the prosecutor and the police, and the probation with its probationer-paid expensive "programs" supported by violation of probation petitions and by prison/jail convictions, are paid out of convictions.

So, what we have is a perfectly spelled out corruption scheme.

Not to mention that the legal aid attorneys - the details will be in my next post - are, guess what - also paid from conviction fines.

One big happy family! All paid out of conviction fines!  In a county with 95% conviction rate (whether Richard Northrup "compiles" the statistics or not).  In the country with the most per capita imprisoned population than anywhere in the world and certainly than anywhere in the civilized countries.  In the country where prison industry is run by for-profit prisons and constitutes a big business.  In the country which has recently become the target of attention from international community because of its "criminal injustice system", to the point that it warranted attention of the President.

And this little "financial arrangement", pandered for all the good declared reasons, savings to taxpayers and safety on the roads, is the cornerstone of what is wrong in our criminal justice system.  

Because this "financial arrangement" where the prosecutor and the police are paid out of conviction rates is called corruption of the prosecutor and the police - and it stinks.

As to the "human cost" of this corrupt arrangment, on top of the money that mostly indigent DWI defendants must pay in terms of various "fines", "surcharges", treatment costs, "crime victim funds", DNA funds, ignition interlock devices "rented" per month from probation agencies or agencies associated with probation, at ungodly prices - unlawful DWI convictions brought about by perverse financial incentives for the police and the prosecutors have one other potential cost, complete loss of ability to earn a living in rural communities where there is no public transportation and where being able to drive is an equivalent to hold any meaningful employment.

Those convictions are obtained very easily.

First, you are stopped by a STOP-DWI funded police officer who is paid based on how many stops leading to an alcohol-related conviction he or she can generate.

The officer will then lie to the court under oath (called "testilying") that the officer saw you with "glassy eyes and impaired motor co-ordination".

The local justice (who is most often not an attorney) or the County Judge (who is most likely a former prosecutor) will rubber-stamp that testimony, if it even hears it.  In most cases, there is no testimony.  The legal aid funded out of conviction fines, who will not be assigned to more cases (paying from $60 to $75/hr depending on whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony charge) will plea you "down" to a DAI (driving while ability impaired), which is still a conviction countable towards the "three strikes and you are out".

As a result, you lose PERMANENTLY your ability to earn a living because of corrupt actions of the police and the prosecutors financed through such little arrangements.  

You cannot earn a living without a driver's license in America, especially in rural communities. 

And, when you are unable to get a job because you were stopped by a conviction-funded police officer, prosecuted by a conviction-funded prosecutor, represented by a conviction-funded legal aid, pled down to an "AI" and now have a "record" for purposes of DMV, because you were persuaded, three times, by your conviction-funded legal aid attorney that to go to trial and fight for your rights is not good when an opportunity to "plead down" to an "AI" with "just" 90 days' suspension of your license exists - by such "simple" steps you very easily step, as thousands of New Yorkers do, on a path towards poverty, homelessness and human degradation. 

And that is a human rights problem of constitutional dimensions.

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